{Wedding Wednesday} Caricatures, Dublin, Popcorn & Candyfloss; Adam & Kat

Happy Hump-Day!

We hope you are all well on this grey and overcast Wednesday.  As a midweek treat, it is of course, Wedding Wednesday.  This one is particularly special since the bride, Katrina, was actually one of my gorgeous customers who we (A Touch of Vintage) designed a bespoke veil to match her dress.  Kat sent me over the most beautiful photograph of her wearing it and I knew that you, out lovely readers, would love to see the photographs from their day.  I first met Kat at Karen’s Essex Vintage Wedding Fair in June last year. She was so excited about her impending marriage to the man of her dreams that I felt so happy for her. Anyway, without further ado, I introduce you to Kat and Adam.

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Tell us about the proposal; was it expected, discussed or entirely spontaneous?

We always spoke about it but it still came as a shock. For my birthday Adam bought me a trip to Venice as I have always wanted to go! I did hope he would propose but he convinced me that the trip was so expensive that he just couldn’t afford it until the following year. So I just forgot all about it. We arrived in a town just outside Venice and we decided to head off into Venice the following day. So up bright and early and we travelled into Venice and it was a lovely sunny day. We walked around for a bit then I insisted that we would get on a gondola, I was singing just one cornetto with my camera out taking pics and Adam kneeled in front of me and I shouted at him to get up because the boat was shaking and he eventually had to tell me to shutup and listen and took out the ring and finally proposed and I said YESS!!! That was the 20th of May 2012.

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When did you start to plan your wedding, was your husband involved in the planning or did you both instinctively know what type of wedding you wanted?

I started to plan it straight away and we decided on the 7th of September 2013 for our big Day. To be honest I pretty much planned the whole day, I am a huge vintage lover and I wanted my wedding to be all about that, Adam just said yess that’s lovely, yess ok get that ha ha he got to pick the honeymoon and he was happy with that.

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Where did you get married and on what date?

We got married in Dublin as I am from there on the 7th of September. We got married in the church that my parents got married 42 years ago so it was very special to me. We then went onto Co. Wicklow just outside Dublin to the Summerhill House Hotel in a little town called Enniskerry for our reception.

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Tell us a bit more about your day; was it a big or intimate wedding?

We had 97 guests on the day, We had all our friends and family and the day just couldn’t of gone any better. We had a big red vintage London bus collect all our guests from the Church. Myself and Adam had a vintage 1930s Beauford who we hired from KP Chauffers in Dublin, I cant speak more highly of this company our driver, Paudraig, was absolutely wonderful and treated us like the most important people in the world and kept filling up our glasses with champagne on the way to the venue.

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When people arrived to the church I had fan programmes explaining how we met and how we got to our wedding day. I also had badges one with team kat and the other with team adam on them , our guests had to choose as they arrived. 

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For the reception arrival we had a popcorn and candyfloss machine which our guests loved, we also had cocktails and tea and scones on vintage cake stands. I had a saxophonist playing some tunes which created a great atmosphere. Another thing our guests loved was the caricature we hired. Niall O Loughlin who is renowned in Ireland for his amazing work.

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He drew pictures of all our guests and it went down so well people were just delighted with their drawings it brought many laughs to everyone. That was a real success. I was very strict on the way I wanted my room and the hotel manager was just so lovely in allowing me to do what I wanted. For each of my tables I had collected old vintage tea caddies and I placed these on old vintage books I had collected over the months in charity shops and I used these as my centre pieces with gypsophila flowers in the tea caddies.

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For my table numbers I put together pictures of myself and Adam growing up, so for tables 1-10 we had pics of us at these ages stuck to the card, which was a really good way for people to start talking and laughing looking at our photos from over the years. I also typed out all my menus and place cards on an old vintage typerwriter which I picked up at our local boot fair. After awhile I had really regretted it. It had took me 3 weeks to finally type out 100 menus and placemats but it really was worth it in the end.

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I also found this lovely seller on ETSY called Georgie Lane  from PrettyLaneBoutigue who had made me little love heart tea bags attached to a personalised envelope with a beautiful poem on the back my guessed loved these. I put them into a small burlap bag and attached a wooden heart to the bag with K&A attached to it. It was something really sweet for our guests to take away from our day. I had also collected many vintage tea cups and saucers to put all over my tables and my venue. Amongst them I had love heart sugar, flowers and love heart confetti which I made out of some old books and sprinkled on my tables.

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Where did you source your suppliers?

ETSY is the love of my life. I found so many of my supplies from this website. When planning my day I wanted to make it very personal and full of creations. I bought my blank place names and menus from a supplier on ETSY called Tiffany and shops name is Tiffzippy. I wanted my invitations to be really different and I found the perfect supplier on Etsy called ElloThere. This lovely couple make really amazing invites. Ours were a record in a record sleeve and the amount of text messages I got from my guests saying how much they loved them was fantastic. I was over the moon with them.

6. Tell us about your photographer, did you feel comfortable with them, what type of service did you get, would you recommend them?

As soon as I met our photographers I knew I would book them straight away. Ebony & Pearl come as a double act and I cant tell you how amazing they were. I felt like we didn’t seen them on the day but they caught every aspect of our wedding for us. Emma came to my house the morning of the wedding and Stuart went to take photographs of Adam getting ready which I just loved. We had some ideas of what we had in mind and they just did everything we asked of them and you will see from our photos they did a fab job.

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How did you know that your wedding dress was ‘the one’?

What about the shoes and accessories? I must of tried on about 20-30 dresses. I had just finished trying on a dress that just wasn’t the one and the shop owner pulled out a dress and said try this one on, I would have never picked it out ….and as soon as I tried it on I had a little dance it was the ONE!!! As a wedding gift Adam bought me a pair of Jimmy Choo Shoes yes Jimmy Choo I still cant believe I own a pair. I got my beautiful birdcage veil from A Touch of Vintage and it was just perfect and matched my dress to a T;-)

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Did you help choose your husband’s suit?

Well I told Adam the suit had to be navy. So he went off with the boys and picked his suit out himself. I wanted to wait until the wedding day to see it but he feared I would hate it so He showed me a few weeks beforehand and I loved it!

What did you do to make your wedding personal to you both?

Well I made a lot of things for the wedding. I bought a 1930s suitcase from eBay and I made my table plan from it. Again I typed out all the guests names on my table plan and I contacted a lot of my relatives and friends and asked them to gather old wedding pictures in our families so I photocopied these and stuck them all in the suitcase in the lining and it was a great way for people to show each other their different relatives 50-60years ago on their wedding day.

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What favours did you give to your guests?

I gave my guests the caricuture pictures that where drawn for them and also a little love heart tea bag in a burlap bag. I also had hot doughnuts delivered at 10.30pm and with the evening food these went down a treat and some of my guests even kept them and brought them to their room afterwards-midnight treat.

What was your most memorable part of the day?

Well getting ready in my house with all my family and walking up the aisle to meet Adam is was a surreal feeling.

 What song did you have as your first dance?

We had ‘nothings gona stop us now’ by Starship – its from the 80s movie Mannequin.

Where did you go on Honeymoon?

We went to Kenya on a Safari -it was amazing!!

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Finally, do you have any advice for brides-to-be when planning their wedding?

The only advise I can give is enjoy every bit of your day. I couldn’t believe how fast it went. If I could do it all over again I would. And don’t worry about anything that’s what the best man and maid of honor are for.

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{Wedding Wednesday} Vintage Tandem Bicycles & Hog Roasts In The Countryside; Kath & James

Oh yes, our dear lovely readers – It’s WEDDING WEDNESDAY!

So, what have we got in store for this week? Well, plenty of inspiration and some rather amazing photographs both of the wedding AND the engagement shoot (I know, we do spoil you!) courtesy of Stefanie of Photography By Stefanie.  I’m sure that you will agree that the photography, is as always, wonderful. How adorable is the flower girl? Of course, we are loving the retro car!

Anyways, enough of me rambling on.  I now hand you over to the photographer behind these gorgeous photographs; Stefanie.

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I actually met Kath on a friend’s hen do before she was even engaged and she was so lovely, we all had a fab weekend away in Brighton.  I knew that she had a partner called James but we didn’t really have a chance to get to know each other properly, so I was very touched when she got in contact with me nearly a year later to ask if I would do their wedding photography.

Prior to meeting James, his mother rang me and asked if I would do a portrait shoot for her of Kath and Gemma  (both partners of her 2 sons) and they were all so lovely and welcoming that I knew immediately how great they would be to work with. Following that, I went on to do a pre-wedding couple shoot with Kath and James.  We incorporated their wonderful vintage tandem bicycle, which worked really well and I have genuinely never met such a cute couple!

The best part of the day was, well, anything with Kath in it as she looks stunning – she is such a beautiful woman!  Having a wedding reception at a golf course is a little unusual, but it provided the background of a lovely rolling vista of uninterrupted countryside.  The weather was great and I loved going out onto the course with them to get some fun group and couple shots.

It was a very relaxing day with no pressure or stress; James & Kath had clearly thought through their celebrations from the big bits down to the little details. They used their tandem bicycle from the pre-wedding shoot with a basket on the front as a postbox for their guests to leave cards in which I thought was a brilliant idea! It was a real party atmosphere with a hog roast buffet and kids play area outside. Everyone partied the night away by all accounts!

I spoke with Kath and James at length about the kind of shots they’d like. They weren’t after too many group shots, just a few traditional ones. Mainly, they wanted the shots to tell the story of their day from a natural perspective. I offer quite stylised photography, shooting from unique angles and capturing the essence of a day. Kath exuded vintage elegance and so I tried to reflect this through my photography and from what I hear, they’re thrilled with the results!

Stef’s Top Tips When Hiring A Photographer…

I would suggest having a brainstorm with your partner before meeting with your supplier. This will help you to have a rough plan or idea in your head about the type of service you’re after. So many couple come to me without having thought about what they’d like out of the photography. This is completely fine of course as weddings to tend to develop organically as the day progresses, but if you’ve chatted about it first, it helps you both to understand what you’re looking for from your photographer and will help ensure you get the right results.

I‘m currently writing a 10 part blog giving advice regarding each big stage of organising a wedding so for more advice and tips, do keep an eye on my blog page: http://photographybystefanie.wordpress.com

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I couldn’t resist leaving this photograph until the end – I love it! So carefree and oh, so in love…

Remember, Stefanie does travel and would be more than delighted to be your photographer! Please do get in touch with her to find out more.  We highly recommend.

Until Next Time xxx

{Wedding Wednesday} An Italian Romance: Nicole & Mattia

Oooh, what a treat we have in store for you today. Last week we took you back to the Swinging 60’s and this week, we are taking a trip to one of the most romantic places in the world, Italy.  How I adore Italy. It’s been a favourite destination of mine for years, so when Nicole got in touch with us and sent us a selection of photographs, I was so excited to feature it on the the Guide.  We are talking, hi-low wedding dresses, black and white photography and some truly happy people… I also have some serious fringe envy, how fabulous does Nicole’s hair look?

Nicole & Mattia were married in the Marentino Municipo (Marentino City Hall) on the 14th of September 2013.

IMG_2511 copySo, how did Mattia propose?

I suspected maybe he would pop the question at some stage during the year as we had reached a stage in our relationship where we both knew we wanted to marry each other. However the actual proposal itself was incredibly unexpected.

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Because I am a New Zealand citizen and my Husband (Mattia) is an Italian citizen we had been struggling to find a country were we could both stay together. We meet in London in 2010 but my Visa expired in 2012. We decided we would move to either New Zealand or Italy and at the time we decided on Italy. After arriving in Italy and having numerous problems trying to get a visa I returned to New Zealand for 3 months in the hope of finally getting a visa. After arriving in New Zealand and finding that Italy was in the process of rewritting its immigration laws and had closed all applications until they decided they were finished I again returned to Italy and was allowed in the country for 3 months only on a tourist visa. When this 3 months expired we returned to London, as I legally had to leave Italy, and I booked a return flight to France on the hope that France would allow me in and then I could cross the border to Italy. When we arrived in London I was given a stern warning by border control that if France decides they could deport me on the spot as apparently I am only allowed 3 months in all of the EU.

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We decided we would risk it. The night before I departed for France and Mattia departed for Italy Mattia woke me up ( We were staying with our friends at our old apartment we shared together in 2011) with a box in his hand. He got down on one knee and ask me if I would marry him…Of course I said YES! In the morning when I awoke fully I had to keep checking my hand to make sure it wasnt a dream. Thankfully France decided to be nice and let me in and after a long 6 hour bus ride we reunited again.

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Mattia proposed in April and to help solve some of the issues we were having with visas we decided we would get married as soon as possible. After figuring out that Italian summer time was not an option (due to the incredible heat during lunch time) we decided on September 14th with the ceremony at the local Municipo (cityhall) in Marentino, Piemonte and the reception at Mattias Grandparents farmhouse nearby.

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Not long after we got engaged we also bought a house together.  Our typography invitations were  designed and printed by Nello Russo, Torino. So other than deciding the location and that we wanted a very simple, countryside wedding with a BBQ we hadnt planned anything else. We didnt have time to recommence wedding planning until 2 weeks before the wedding!

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Thankfully we are in Italy and Mattia has the most incredible family. We all sat down at a Sunday lunch and decided what we wanted( Mattia and I both had a very clear idea of what we both wanted), where we were going to find things and we delegated as much as possible to the family. Mattias mum was fantastic in organising what needed doing when and kept on top of everything for us. One week before the wedding we went shopping at the local wholesalers and bought all the food we needed, we handmade 1000 ravioli with Mattias 91 year old nonna, we cooked for hours straight serving simple but traditional Italian dishes.

Thankfully the night before the wedding all of our friends and family had arrived from all corners of the world and everyone lended a hand to get all the preparations complete and at 1am the morning of the wedding we were almost set ready to go.

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We wanted all of our friends and family to share with us our special day, we send out 140 invitations, including friends and family from New Zealand who we knew, unfortunately, wouldnt be able to make it. At the end of the day we estimate that around 110 people made it on the day. It was the perfect amount of people. Not too crowded, not too sparse.

We are incredibly lucky that our photographer is a close friend of ours, Chiara Esposito (http://chiaraesposito.com/) and she knew us well enough that we didnt even need to discuss what we wanted. She was incredible at capture all of the special moments from before the wedding, during at the end. She did a fantastic job and we couldnt be happier. Chiara delivered to us 350 photos both in color and black and white.

Until the day of the wedding I was having incredible doubts about the dress. I purchased the original dress from H&M conscious collection however the only one they had left in the country was a size 14! I am usually a size 6 or 8. However, I bought the dress anyway because I adored the fabric in the hope that we could alter it to fit. After 3 fittings the dress stil didnt fit right. We had altered the back, neck and taken it in all around but it still wasnt fitting quite right. 5 days before the wedding I went back for the final alterations. Because it was still 4cm too big all around it would take her some time to fix it and I wasnt able to try it before the day. Just in case it still didnt fit I had a back up dress which I had bought also from H&M for the reception and I was prepared to wear that to the ceremony if needed.

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Thankfully we the dress was delivered, an hour before the ceremony, it fitted like a glove! I was over the moon and was so incredibly happy. In that moment I knew it was the dress.

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To tie in with the ‘something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue’ I had my underwear as old! my dress as something new, my earings borrowed from my sister and my shoes as my something blue.

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We went shopping together with some friends of ours for Mattia’s suit.  After trying many of suits which didnt fit correctly we finally found in a small tailors shop in downtown Torino a beautiful blue suit. It was surprisingly inexpensive but fitted beautifully. He decided he would wear it with a tailormade white shirt and suspenders.

IMG_2504 copyWe both knew from the start that we didn’t want a traditional wedding. We wanted a wedding were there were no rules. We wanted it casual. A buffet, BBQ, help yourself beer and wine, a table of sweets for the guests. Interactive activities such as ping pong and a polaroid camera.

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For favours, we had a stamp printed and brown paper bags available for guests to help themselves to sweets from New Zealand and Italy. We also had a polaroid camera available and at the end of the night each guests received a chinese lantern to light and realise into the night sky.

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The most memorable part of the day was at the end of the night when we all climbed the hill, lit our chinese lanterns and made a wish while releasing it into the night sky.

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Unfortunatly due to work and my family being over from New Zealand we are not having a honeymoon straight away. Instead we will probably have a honeymoon next year when we have more time to relax and enjoy it. We are hoping either South America or maybe a roadtrip around the entire coast of Italy.

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Any tips for our brides-to-be?

DELEGATE!!! As long as you have a very clear idea of what you want and you can explain that in specific terms to someone else. If you are unsure yourself than you cant expect anyone else to understand what you mean and it wont turn out the way you wished.

Oh, I just love this wedding.  The black and white photography, I feel, adds even more charm to images.  What a beautiful wedding and a gorgeous couple.  Congratulations!! We wish you every happiness!

 Until Next Time xxx

{Wedding Wednesday} A Super Colourful Wedding in Lavender Fields!

Wow, do we have a special treat for you lovely readers today! To introduce one of our excellent new sponsors, we are showing off a truly stunning, super colourful wedding at Lavender Hitchin by Marie Wootton Photography!

I LOVE this wedding! The bride’s lace gloves, the London bus, stunningly colourful bouquet &, of course, the spectacular lavender fields of Hitchin. A real summer beauty for us to dream about hot days and sunshine again! Enjoy!

 

{Wedding Wednesday} Mollie & James Vintage Styled Wedding

It’s wonderful wedding Wednesday again and, today, I’m proud to share a most beautiful wedding which I was privileged to be part of recently!

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I met Mollie & James early last year when my vintage tea party business, Calamitea Jane’s Vintage Tea Parties, was in its early stages. Armed with homemade cake and a big basket of vintage china, I met them at the church hall which was to be their reception venue for a tasting. Straight away I knew I would love to be part of their day – they were such a lovely couple and obviously very much in love. They had chosen their venue – the gorgeous St Edward The Confessor’s church in Romford because James had been the verger there and grown up in the area. The church hall was functional, but very basic, and this wedding is the perfect example of how you can transform a bland hall into a truly beautiful space with lots of attention to detail, vintage props and lots and lots of cake! Mollie had a great eye for she wanted to style the church hall and we were delighted to provide everything she needed, from the china, food, bunting pom poms & more!

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When I saw Samantha Hook’s photographs from the day, I was blown away by the quality of them. They are truly unique, with a film-like quality to them which I love.  I hope you do too!

Calamitea Jane’s Vintage Tea Parties provide planning, styling, coordination services as well as vintage china hire and full afternoon tea catering starting at just £14 per head. If you’d like to arrange a FREE tasting, just get in touch with Karen on karen@calamiteajanesteaparties.co.uk or 07826 845751

{Feature Friday} Manor By The Lake, Gloucestershire

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Oh, it’s our favourite time of the week over here at AVWG HQ – why? Well, the weekend is practically here, there are bound to be some stunning summer weddings taking place AND many of you may be looking for your perfect venue.  Of course, we are always here to give you advice.  So, with that in mind, let me take you on a journey to the South West and onto one of the most beautiful parts of the country, the Cotswolds. Yes, this is home for me but I know that some of you may want to look further afield for your big day.  If so, there is a very special place that I personally think is just beautiful.  Quintessintally English, the perfect country setting and the team at this marvellous venue are always on hand to help guide you in fulfilling your wedding dreams.  It is all your would expect and more. This is Manor By The Lake.

There’s nothing more elegant than a classic vintage wedding. And there are many reasons why vintage can work to your advantage for your Special Day…

“The key to a successful vintage wedding is that the beauty is in the detail”, says Clare, Manor By The Lake’s Wedding Consultant. “Subtle details and little touches are the key. Vintage is a great choice for couples looking for simple elegance, who want to avoid the extravagance of a more modern wedding.”

Manor By The Lake, in Cheltenham, is one of Gloucestershire’s best-kept secrets. Currently undergoing a grand restoration, including the addition of a West Wing Ballroom and 12 en- suite luxury bedrooms, the wedding team are currently booking private viewings for excited future brides-to-be, to show off this hidden gem and reveal the plans.Being a 19th century mansion, Manor By The Lake provides a natural setting for a Victorian wedding. The building oozes romance, class and grace, which are the underlying themes across all vintage weddings, regardless of the chosen era.

“A lot of couples these days are opting for themed weddings,” adds Nichola, Manor By The Lake’s Wedding Manager. “A truly unique way to achieve a vintage themed wedding is to offer guests Afternoon Tea. Vintage cars are also a beautiful touch. They certainly add a sense of grandeur to the whole event and look great against our stunning Victorian manor for wedding photographs.”

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Vintage weddings allow an opportunity for people to be transported back in time. The elegant feel of past decades makes things a little more nostalgic. For many brides a vintage wedding also allows them the opportunity to keep things simple, without neglecting elegance. Pastel colours allow for soft femininity and great scope for some of the most beautiful floral arrangements. And what bride would turn down an opportunity to wear a one-off, beautiful vintage gown?

A vintage wedding dress allows the bride to fulfill every girl’s desire of wearing a truly unique piece on her wedding day. The natural fabrics, couture detailing and extravagant embellishments of vintage wedding dresses allows the bride experience true luxury on her wedding day, deprived of the extensive price tag of a new design of similar quality.“Our vintage themes tend to be more popular for our smaller weddings.” says Clare, “More intimate weddings allow bigger scope for many more personal touches.”

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Clare’s vision of a vintage wedding includes a natural colour scheme, letting the trimmings do the talking, “A vintage theme allows for the smaller touches to create a big effect. For a vintage wedding here at Manor By The Lake we can provide everything from vintage crockery, bunting and parasols to vintage wedding signage. A really great way to capture the feel of your chosen era is by incorporating a themed menu. This could be anything from a classic Hog Roast, a traditional British High Tea, or even an extravagant ‘feast’.”

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Manor By The Lake prides themselves on their ability to host both larger wedding parties and more intimate weddings, due to their stunning collection of oak-paneled, stain-glass adorned rooms of varying sizes, complete with large marble fireplaces. It is the perfect setting for a vintage wedding!

I told you! Gorgeous, isn’t it.  So, if you fancy taking an overdue trip to the Cotswolds with your intended and arrange a private viewing please contact Clare Singer at Manor By The Lake on 01242 542 700 or email clare@manorbythelake.co.uk. Website: http://www.manorbythelake.co.uk

{Wedding Wednesday} Boho Chic & A Tale of Unexpected Love

Happy Wednesday!

It’s that time of the week again.  One of my favourite times as it’s nearer to the weekend, AND I get to share another gorgeous wedding with you.  Today’s wedding is of Jo and Phil, which was a humanist wedding that took place on the 17th May, this year at St Michael’s Manor in St Albans, Hertfordshire. What made stood out for me, was not only the love story of Jo and Phil – a tale of unexpected love and overwhleming happiness, but also how naturally beautiful everything seemed to be.  For me, I adored the pastel coloured bouquets, Jo’s dress and  hairstyle and floral hairpieces evoked a boho-chic style.  Effortlessly gorgeous! Especially, their darling, little girl – so adorable.  The final photograph is perfect and sums up just how in love these two are… *SWOON* Anyway, I hand you over to our bride of the day, Jo, to tell us all about their story…

“We met in a random bar in London; somewhere neither of us would normally go. Both of us were newly single, bruised and sworn off the opposite sex.  Phil gave me ‘the look’ and my friend Clare informed me ‘Beckham over there is checking you out’. 
Clare and I did a brief lap of the bar and got chatting and exchanged numbers. We didn’t really expect much but after our first date in a byo Thai bar in kings cross I realised that I had stumbled across a ‘very good man’.  

Slowly and cautiously we got closer until 5 years later on holiday in Palma, Spain he unexpectedly proposed in a quiet beautiful restaurant.  I was initially confused during the proposal as I was handed an empty box with a note inside saying ‘would you like to choose something sparkly?’.  I was reluctant to assume anything absence the bending down on one knee! As he had tears in his eyes and then said ‘will you marry me?’. I responded ‘blimey!!’ and ‘yes!!!!’ then jealously watched him drink champagne (I was two weeks pregnant). 

I wanted to enjoy the wedding planning process so we got married two years later. 
It’s felt like the most natural thing ever.”

Documentary Wedding Photography-7255Wowee… Isn’t that romantic? And what an amazing shot that final photo is – definitely one for a huge frame in the living room.  There’s nothing quite like seeing two people so in love and happy, starting out on their journey of married life together… Awww! Congratulations Jo and Phil – we wish you every happiness.

Of course, such beautiful photographs not only require fabulous couples but amazing photographers, too.  These photographs are by the talented Michelle Claire Photography.  They all have a soft, fine art quality to them.  As you have heard me harp on countless time, getting a good photographer is paramount.  Now, if you fancy contacting Michelle to see what she can do for your day, why not drop her line.  I just know she would be delighted to hear from you.

Be sure to check out Michelle’s fabulous website here

www.michelleclairephotography.co.uk

Until Next Time xxx